Lawyer Career Changer Profile

Kirsten Birkett

Professional Support Lawyer


Legal Career

Clifford Chance, Solicitor, Corporate finance, London

New Career(s)

Professional Support Lawyer

Career Change Story

I took a career break from practising law to do an MA. When I had finished the MA I started looking for jobs as a Professional Support Lawyer because I wanted to use my legal knowledge but also wanted a better work/life balance than before. My old firm heard on the grapevine that I was looking and I was invited to an interview in my old department. I had had interviews in a few other firms for jobs as a PSL, but returning to my old firm seemed the best option because I knew what the job on offer entailed, I already knew the people and they knew me and my work.

Career Change Reflections

As a PSL my working hours were much improved, the work was varied and intellectually stimulating. It involved: drafting and updating standard form documents; dealing with fee-earners' queries; monitoring changes in law and regulation; briefing lawyers on legal developments; giving routine training lectures; harnessing firm know-how; and helping formulate the firm's responses to consultations on law reform. I was also lucky enough to go on secondment to the Law Commission for about nine months to help with a project on company law reform. The only downsides with stepping off the fee-earning ladder are less pay and removing yourself from a defined career path.